Shadows Rise Ch 01 (Very Drafty Draft)

  • @typical_demigod Blackpond is called the City of War because it was founded by War Himself. So yes, the irony is very much intentional. I'm glad it came through how I wanted. :D

    All chapters are dated and time stamped, but I time stamped this '2 hours until midnight' mostly because it's the last two hours they have to celebrate their birthday.

    And I see how that part's a bit redundant. Thanks for pointing it out. ^^

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    Before I got into giving my thoughts and comments on this, I have a question for you. When I read draft work, I can put on different hats. So pick the ones you want me to use! :) <3

    Beta Reader:
    I ignore all grammar and focus on the character's development. I have a list of about 15 questions I ask myself and answer at the end of each chapter:

    • What are my initial thoughts and reactions after reading this chapter?
    • What was my favourite part and why?
    • What was my least favourite part and why?
    • What are my thoughts on the protagonist
    • What are my opinions of every character in the scene (big and non big, named and not named)?
    • Where there any parts that were confusing or unclear?
    • On a scale of 1 - 10 how much did I enjoy the chapter?
    • On a scale of 1 - 10 how eager am I read to the next chapter?
    • Do I have any predictions?
    • Am I interested reading the next scene?
    • Are there any questions the author wants me to dig into (examples from my past "Does the magic use make sense here?")

    Potential Audience
    This is the hat where I focus upon flow, grammar, spacing, plot, etc. I am the audience, I want to be entertained darnit! :) I may answer some of the questions above, but in general I approach it like I have bought the book.

    Editor of Dewm
    I pull out my pink sparkly pen of editing dewm and go to town in a way that might be seen like an evil English teacher who has a fondness for sparkles. I can only do this if I have read the story at least once in it's current entirety. This allows me to dig into serious plot holes, point out excessive uses of descriptions (my fav is a friend of mine had described three different times someone's unique ability, reminded them that once was enough... unless the detail was revealed slowly, or something). Basically my goal is to trim it down to eager nomnom pieces for the public, but I am known for being insanely thorough as I can point out when foreshadowing happens, or when it could benefit a story as well.

    I literally just read it for fun, ignore grammar, plot holes, anything else that stands out to me, and just let myself get lost in what is presented to me

    PS. YESH! I have begged, and now you have presented it to me :D

  • @Josey O_O feels like a kid in a toy store

    Lol, uhm... Beta Reader, please. ^^'

    Since I'm still on a writing stage for this and I tend to get really, REALLY, paranoid about grammar and things like that, right now that's something I'd like to stray from, but I do want to know how well I did with the story so far, though, especially since I'm not used to writing such short chapters.

  • Plotist Team: Timeline Master

    My thoughts!

    Like with your 'Waiting for Spring' piece, I think you have a really natural, wonderful way with description, and because I love your description I don't feel there's ENOUGH of it! More description! You said that you struggle with how much to give last time, but I think it's really beautiful the way you write it and you're in no danger supplying more. I loved the scene-setting of the gradually lit torches and the silver coins catching the moonlight and the squares of orange lights that made up the hazy image of the inn. But I felt like it needed even more - Blackpond has such a hint of personality but I want to hear even more about it.

    And your character surprised me which is always a good thing. Sebastian kind of grates at first - it seems like he's not listening and plying his reluctant friend with alcohol and just generally being a bit irritating. But then he reveals a bit of depth - that he has actually been thinking about the future and seems to even reveal a brief glimpse of ... not hopelessness, but a kind of disappointment with life maybe? That he doesn't expect much from things? And Kyle feels like the one we sympathise with, the optimist to lead us through the story. I liked them both and I wasn't expecting to : )

  • @Sian Thank you for your thoughts!

    I'll definitely work on adding more description in the next draft. I do want to paint a clearer picture of Blackpond and while I plan to give the city a more thorough introduction in future chapters, it definitely could use a bit more now.

    Blackpond, for some reason, is one of my favorite places in Valcrest. Every time I decide to practice description or setting scenes I end up writing something there. :P

    I'm really happy with your impressions of Seb and Kyle. I wanted to show right away the difference in how they cope with their losses and life situation. Sebastian needs to be looking forward in order to cope. Even if things are crap now, as long as it eventually leads to something else; anything else, he'll be okay. And because Kyle can't do that; he needs to cling to the present and suffer through it before he can even consider something else, Seb feels trapped in a hopeless situation. He's not going to leave his brother, so he feels he just doesn't have a choice. :/

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @Blackbird Okies! That takes a little bit more time, but I shall get back to you in the next day or so! :D

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    Incoming wall of beta reader text! If you have any questions about any of my comments, just ask. Note, as requested, I totally ignored grammar and focused on the characters.

    What are my initial thoughts and reactions after reading this chapter?
    This is not Earth! When I started reading, I had no idea what genre, or setting, or anything about anything (ignore the RRA thread :P). What became immediately clear is this Blackpond is a cold, desolate place where people just exist, and there is a lot of neglect on the part of the inhabitants. There are many threads and many untold stories being slowly revealed in this chapter, and it makes me eager to see what is coming.

    What was my favourite part and why?
    My favourite part was Kyle's statement, "You know I hate it when you do that. Just say it; whatever it is, and if I don't like it, then I don't like it! Don't have conversations with yourself, in your damned head, and act like I had a say in it."
    I am married to a twin, and I have seen every trope possible, and been the subject of all kinds of stupid questions like, "If you find your husband hot don't you find his brother hot?" ... eyeroll What this entire conversation shows is that while they are twins they think very differently which is how twins really work! This one statement made me cheer for Kyle and narrow my eyes at Sebastian.

    What was my least favourite part and why?
    This is always a hard questions, but let me preface this by saying just because it is my least favourite doesn't mean it's not a good direction to take your story. In this chapter, their running away from the Sleeping Man happened too fast for me. It didn't get my heart racing, or make me worry about them being caught. There may be guards ignoring street lights, but maybe having them run across one, or maybe having a moment or two where they are almost caught. Maybe have the huge cloak get caught on something in the scenery. I wanted to feel scared for the brothers in this moment, but it just happened a bit too fast for me. I know you're trying short chapters, and there is nothing wrong with it, but I almost feel that the chapter should have been more about the escape, and the next chapter about their coming down from the threat of capture.

    What are my thoughts on the protagonist(s)
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Kyle and Sebastian Rivers are the protagonists! I say go out on a limb because some stories start with characters that are NOT the protagonists, or they have characters but it is up to the audience to decide what is the protagonist. But I love the brother's and their loyalty to each other. I also love that they each seem to have different personalities (something I mentioned above!)

    What are my opinions of every character in the scene (big and non big, named and not named)?

    • City Guard: I wonder if he was ignoring the street light lighting because something else was going on and he was in a rush to get there. I also would have loved a bit of a description about him/her because it would help me better visualise what type of city this is. Did the guard make clanking noises due to armor? Did they blend in with the darkness due to a cloak? Did they have a lamp which only enhanced the fog? etc. :)
    • Kyle Rivers: Adooorable. Disillusioned. On the cusp of being innocent but also almost utterly devoid of innocence as well. Adventurous!
    • Sebastian Rivers: Soo loyal! Also so eager to hold onto the familair. Also, not quite the sharpest knife in the drawer, lol. If the cloak is big, it will get in the way!! :P I can't wait to see where his morals lie as he knew the bakery was failing, but he still stole something!
    • Sleeping Man: Drunk, but not enough of anything to have any opinion about his personality. I don't even think he matters. I doubt he saw them clearly, what with the lights out, and I doubt he will come back to bother them in the future.
    • White Shadows and Crimson: are these groups? Species? An individual who is notorious?!
    • Kat: ZoMG what happened?! I need to know!

    Where there any parts that were confusing or unclear?
    When I read, I stop seeing words. I tend to see what is being presented to me. So the only way I can explain what is confusing or unclear is to state that the world and the individuals you introduced all came across as grey and grainy. I would love to see more descriptions, and even have some smells tossed in. Did the liquor smell make Seb's nose scrunch up as its smell assaulted him after spending so much time in the bakery? Was the cloak a garish shade of mustard yellow? Something that made it even harder for them to escape?

    On a scale of 1 - 10 how much did I enjoy the chapter?
    Right now it's more a six or seven simply because it's hard to picture many things. You add a few senses into that mix, and I have a feeling it will go right up a bajillianty!

    On a scale of 1 - 10 how eager am I read to the next chapter?
    30 million percent? that's on the scale right?

    Do I have any predictions?
    These may be right, or wrong but based on what foreshadowing I think I picked up: I believe they are going to leave the city, and go on an adventure! I also think they might both end up going separate ways .. one towards the Crimson, one towards the White Shadows!

    Am I interested reading the next scene?
    Yes please! Get to work!!

    Hit me up for any more questions about this chapter if you so wish

  • @Josey This was extremely helpful. I don't even know how to express how much.

    It also makes me really happy because, without a doubt, my favorite part of having people read my work is when they pick up on details so small I was pretty much putting them there just for myself. Some of my friends are incredibly good at this. And that line of dialogue you liked was actually one of a few things put in there for very specific reasons. :)

    I just gotta get my butt moving now and finish this first episode so I can start going back and making revisions.

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @Blackbird I'm glad it helped. The first chapter is usually the smallest amount of "beta" reader information. Once I get to know characters I can say things like "erm, why did they do that, it seems like it came out of left field" or .."Ooo oo what if they did this!!" :)

  • 0_1481920778690_motivational.png

    Made some of your feedback into little comments on my Google doc. That's my digital equivalent of a post-it.


    And added some of my own...



    alt text

    I am a total dork. >.>

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